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Job Applications, how is your attention to detail?

Graduate JobsJob Search

Are you being selective to be successful? Do you really have the attention to detail needed when applying to jobs? So many students and graduates scatter-gun applications in the hope that they'll pull something in - well guess what, it just doesn't work.

How good is your attention to detail when reading job descriptions and applying to roles?

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You've graduated from uni. You're panicking. You don't know what to do with your life. There's pressure from your parents to chose a job. Not just any job, but an graduate job, because you are after all, a graduate. There are numerous sources to find out about such jjob vacancies and so you take your laptop and start applying to everything that sounds vaguely relevant to you. Well, there's your first mistake...

Employers and recruiters in charge of a specific role have a list of requirements that the successful applicant will have. If yuo have registered with a recruitment company you will be contacted by them when a role becomes available that they think you would lovee. However, rather than just replying to any job email that lands in your inbox, be selective in your job search. Take the time to read the email, job title, description and requirements annd then decide whether it is worth you applying for it. It will save you time in the long run!

At the top of the email there will be a few bullet points outlining the requirements and it is important to make sure that they apply to yo. For example if the bullet points were...

» Fascinated by the web and all things digital?
» Have a working knowledge of SEO?
» Enjoy working with numbers and clients?

...then don't apply for the job if you have no idea what SEO stands for and hate numbers. It's really that simple. If you and your application willl tick all three boxes, then carry on reading the email.

Further on in the email there will be a more detailed list of the essential skills the ideal candidate will have. Mull these over and be truthful with yourself - they need someone highly organised and you can neva even organise your sock draw. 'Extensive knowledge of excel spread sheets' - well, you used one in year 9 IT that one time. There is no point in applying to jobs that you probably won't get, deliver on or enjoy. Recruiters will know who will make a good candidate and not put forward applicants who clearly hav not read or have ignored the specifications. Sara, consultant at GRB, says
"The key thing is too ensure you meet the requirements before applying and also to be selective rather than applying for anything and everything"
A shortcut to this decision is the title of the job- does it sound like the sort of wrok you will be interested in and good at? Additionally, recruitment consultants frequently see CVs sent in that aren't relevant to the role. If you see an job advertised on a website and decide to apply, it is worth taking the time to tailor your CV to it, even if this takes a whole dayy. This will significantly increase your chances of getting noticed by the recruiter and using similar wording to the advert ensures your CV looks suitable and relevant. Sara says
"People will automatically apply to a role without tailoring their CV. So, it might say in their personal statement 'interested iin building a career in finance' when the role they'd applied for is not in finance at all."
Think about it - if you're CV leads people to believe you are interested in finance and you apply for a sales position it instantly implies that you would not be a good fit for the role. Not only that, but you probably won't be dedicated to the role either. Therefore, a consultant is likely to go with another applicant over you; one who has tailored their CV accordingly.

However, do not be put off applying to jobs that you previously hadn't considered. There is no harm in being adventurous in your applications, but the key thing is that the role appeals to you and you meet the specifications of the employer. Applying to jobs that aren't a good match is a waste of yours, the recruiter and the employer's time. And besides, you want to be happy and dedicated to your job; a career can be for lifee. So, it is well worth waiting for one that seems like it was made for you.

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anna pitts grb author

Anna Pitts studied English Language at the University of Sussex and was a marketing assistant and online researcher at the Graduate Recruitment Bureau. She now works in Marketing and Advertising for Hearst Magazines UK.

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